audience can recognize, as, for example, our subjects in the parade marching toward
a prominent statue.
One cameraman filmed the scene from one side and another
cameraman filmed the action from the other side. These two scenes edited together
would have contrasting screen direction. By seeing the statue in both scenes the
audience will accept the fact that the subject is still going in the same
Contrasting screen direction.
sometimes used to create special effects.
a. For example, scene 1 is a sports car speeding from left to right across
Scene 2 is a fast passenger train crossing the screen from right to
Scene 3 cuts back to the car, and scene 4 shows the train again.
audience begins to realize the car and the train are coming together and a crash is
But, the car's direction must remain from left to right, and the
direction of the train must remain from right to left. The whole effect will be
lost should the car or train change direction.
Contrasting screen direction
b. In travel sequences, be map conscious.
If you have a plane, car, or
person going from New York to California, they should move from right to left on
the screen, as you would picture it on a map. Conversely, if a person, boat, or
plane is going from New York to England, the object should move from left to right
on the screen; again as you would picture it on a map.
This is known as map
Dynamic screen direction is shown as moving bodies either from left to right
or right to left, while neutral screen direction is moving away from or towards the
A static direction is that of a body at rest.
Remember that even the
static body must show screen direction.
Remember also the imaginary line.
Crossing improperly will change screen direction and cause confusion.
clean entrances and exits are important when introducing or eliminating different
elements, whenever a series of moving shots are filmed against different
backgrounds, or when a subject moves from one room to another.
You can now establish a few rules to help maintain screen direction.
a. Remember the direction in which your subject is moving at the end of a
scene. Maintain that direction in the following scene. Use the imaginary line.
b. Show the subject making changes in direction, whenever possible.